C Pelucchi et al, 2016. Dietary acrylamide and the risk of endometrial cancer: an Italian case-control study. Nutrition and Cancer, published online ahead of print.

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ABSTRACT

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, and the number of cases is expected to continue to rise worldwide. Cancer prevention strategies are crucial for reducing the cancer burden. The carcinogenic potential of dietary acrylamide exposure from cooked foods is unknown. Acrylamide is a by-product of the common Maillard reaction where reducing sugars (i.e., fructose and glucose) react with the amino acid, asparagine. Based on the evidence of acrylamide carcinogenicity in animals, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified acrylamide as a group 2A carcinogen for humans. Since the discovery of acrylamide in foods in 2002, a number of studies have explored its potential as a human carcinogen. This article outlines a systematic review of dietary acrylamide and human cancer, acrylamide exposure and internal dose, exposure assessment methods in the epidemiologic studies, existing data gaps, and future directions. A majority of the studies reported no statistically significant association between dietary acrylamide intake and various cancers, and few studies reported increased risk for renal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers; however, the exposure assessment has been inadequate leading to potential misclassification or underestimation of exposure. Future studies with improved dietary acrylamide exposure assessment are encouraged.

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